In the heart of Leicester’s old town lanes area is the most wonderful eclectic, independent homeware & furniture shop, Harriman & Co.
With Christmas around the corner and gift shopping at the top of everyone’s lists, we caught up with owner, Drew, to find out a little more about the shop and what they have planned for Christmas this year.
Tell us a little about Harriman & Co for anyone who isn’t familiar?
We are a small independent homewares and furniture store in the old town of Leicester. The shop takes its name from owner, Drew Harriman, and is in its sixth year. Our aim is to give you a collection of well-chosen and ever changing furniture and homeware which is locally or ethically sourced, made in our own workshop or that represents the best of world design.
You can also enjoy home fragrance and natural body care ranges. There is a great offer of locally made ceramics, textiles, print and stationery. From across the world there are fair-trade rugs, vintage kilims, other furniture pieces, mirrors and lighting. All selected for their authenticity, classic designs, and function in the modern home.
How far in advance do you start preparing for the festive season?
As soon as Christmas ends we start thinking about what worked and what would be good for next year, We start hearing from suppliers as early as January, and choices begin to be made from June. By September it feels like the work has well and truly started. Shops like ours rely on the boost to sales in November and December, so Christmas should never be far from any retailers’ mind or buying eye. If you like Christmas you’d love your own shop, because it truly is an all-year-round consideration.
What are some of the your favourite items that you’re pushing for the Christmas period?
This year we’ve got some gorgeous fair-trade mangowood game sets, that fit with our natural aesthetic and are not made of plastic. I also love our range from Denmark which includes mouth blown glassware, tactile ceramics and organic shape nutcrackers and trays. At this time of year we stock a lot more gift items and we have some lovely leather wallets and key fobs, lots of lovely decorations and new ranges of stationery and natural essential oil scented candles.
Where do you source your stock?
Locally and beyond – We’re lucky to have a thriving creative scene locally and that means we can work with some of best makers in Leicester, Leicestershire & Rutland, such as Sue Pryke, Wild & Wood, Kiran Ravilious, Simon Farrow, Paper Creative, Shrew & Co., The Stamford Notebook Co. & Petra Wright. We also get to travel which I love, meeting suppliers across Europe and being inspired by travels across the world.
We love thoughtful design and simple functional objects with a natural, nostalgic feel. Lasting, elemental materials are important to us too; whether that’s glass, timber, stoneware, ceramic or metal. And if the object captures a sense of history, yet still fits in the modern home, so much the better.
How do you find Leicester as a location for an independent business?
Excellent! We have many great local, national & international supporters of our shop – it’s amazing how many visitors come to the city from the UK and across the world and they are all looking for something different to the same high street shops found around the country.
Who are some of your other favourite independents?
We like to go to independent food retailers, markets and cafes. Its important for us to know where our food comes from and what is in it. Being in the city means we have lots of choice on our doorstep and we have the best of both worlds through having easy access to the produce of our beautiful rural county.
Do you have plans to expand?
Of course we would love a bigger shop. But small is beautiful and much more sustainable in a challenging economic climate. This year we have expanded our online offer which is exciting and brings Harriman & Co to people across the world.
What’s on your Christmas list this year?
A real Christmas tree, beeswax candles, a relaxing scented candle, new cutlery for the Christmas table, cookbooks and a bottle of bubbles.
Sum up Harriman & Co in 5 words.
Friendly, design-led, creative, local and considered.
Our BID Spotlight features are brought to you in collaboration with BID Leicester.